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gst85
gst85, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 3972
Experience:  i have over 15 yrs experience in home appliance repairs and installs
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Kenmore fridge and freezer not getting cold enough

Customer Question

Kenmore fridge and freezer not getting cold enough
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  gst85 replied 1 year ago.

gst85 :

hi there

Customer :

Hows it going?

gst85 :

have you noticed any frost forming on the wall inside the freezer?

gst85 :

fine thank you.

Customer :

There is a spot on the middle right side about the size of a silver dollar.

gst85 :

and do you have the full model number please?

Customer :

XXX-XXXXXX

gst85 :

ok can you hear the fan runing in the freezer as well?

Customer :

yes

gst85 :

so your items are just not freezing?

gst85 :

i was not able to pull up any info with model number because it is not a us made model.but i can still help you.

Customer :

Freezer started to unthaw items and now fridge is really not that cold. Both controls are turned up to max.

Customer :

Yes this fridge was bought in Canada.

gst85 :

open the freezer touch the wall tell me if is it just cool and if you can see or feel any frost?

Customer :

Wall is cold and again there is frost on middle right side

gst85 :

okay so it is just cold nut not cold enough to freeze your items.correct?

Customer :

correct

Customer :

ice in ice tray are melting

gst85 :

okay,go aorund the back,remove the lower access panel.

Customer :

already done

gst85 :

can you see a fan next to the compressor?

Customer :

yes it is running

gst85 :

now touch the compressor is it warm or hot to touch?

Customer :

top is warm bottom portion is hot

gst85 :

about how long could you keep your hand on it?

Customer :

top as long as you want bottom maybe 10 seconds before it is too uncomfortable

gst85 :

so the compressor seems to be ok.what it seems to need is for the oils lines to be bypassed.the internal condensor tends to get blocked up so that will cause this issue.

gst85 :

this is a job for an actual appliance tech to fix.

gst85 :

about how old is this unit?

Customer :

11 years

gst85 :

if the compressor were bad then id say to just save your money on this one.but this unit only needs the oils line to be bypassed to fix this porblem which is not that expensive to fix.

Customer :

I don't know if this means anything but I tried putting both fridge and freezer controls at 0 or off then turned fridge control to on position and compressor would come on. Put fridge control to off and tried the same with freezer control and nothing would happen compressor would not turn on.

gst85 :

yes the compressor the compressor should turn off.

gst85 :

so that tell me that you have a bad thermostat control

Customer :

So does this mean the oil lines don't need to be bypassed?

gst85 :

correct.it seems that the compressor is running longer than usual which is overheating.

gst85 :

thats something that you can get at your local appliance dealer.

gst85 :

no need to pay someone to replace it.

Customer :

so if the fridge control works but not the freezer why is the fridge still getting warm. i have not touched any of these controls until recently when the freezer portion started to get warmer then eventually the fridge started warming up.

gst85 :

the reason that the fridge section is not cooling as much is because your evaporator and fan are both in the freezer.

gst85 :

so before your fridge starts to cool your freezer has to reach its temperature.

gst85 :

i would suggest that you replace the thermostat control.

gst85 :

there is only one thermostat control.the other control is just controls the air vent and nothing else.

gst85 :

are you still there?

gst85 :

i am not sure if you have stepped away but i am still here if you would like to continue.

Customer :

yup still here

gst85 :

did you receive my previous post?

Customer :

yes I did sorry had to step away for a minute. So what is involved on changing the thermostat control and how much roughly?

Customer :

So if the thermostat fails the freezer will start to get warm first then the fridge?

gst85 :

aa thermostat it pretty simple to replace just open the temperature control panel and replace it with the new one.should cost about 50 to 75 dollars.

gst85 :

if the thermostat is bad it wont allow the compressor to shut off which will then start to overheat.

and if the freezer os not cooling then your fridge will not cool as well.

Customer :

Not to be a skeptic but how come we went from bypassing oil lines to a thermostat control? Does my compressor seem to be overheating? What is the normal operating temp?

Customer :

Sorry for all the questions. I'm a little bit mechanically inclined and just think things out mabye way too much.

gst85 :

based on the problem that you had it would have had to been a sealed system issue,but you have stated that the compressor would stay on even after you set the thermostat on the off postion.

gst85 :

no problem.i am here to help you

Customer :

Sorry but I did not say the compressor would stay on. When the temp control was put to 0 or too the off postion the compressor would turn off. But when the temp control for the fridge was increased to a lower temp the compressor would come on. I turned the temp control to the fridge back to 0 or off and the compressor would shut off. I would then increase the freezer control to a lower temp and the compressor would not come on which makes sense as you stated that it does nothing but control an air vent.

gst85 :

you have the themostat control on the one control that you adjust the air flow from the freezer going to the fridge.so the thermostat that reads OFF is the one that controls the compressor and fans.

gst85 :

the thermostat control that reads OFF is the one that is faulty.

Customer :

Well I still don't understand. The fridge control is the one that turns the compressor on or off correct? I turn it too off and it turns the compressor off. When I turn it back too the on position or try to decrease the temp in the fridge the compressor turns back on so why is this faulty?

gst85 :

if i am not mistaken but you stated that if you adjust the cotrol on the OFF the compressor would not come back on.do you have the evaporator cover off right now?

Customer :

The compressor would not come on when the fridge control was in the off position and I would turn up the freezer control which again makes sense as you stated all the freezer control does is control an air vent.

Customer :

Need to go to now. Can I continue this tommorow?

gst85 :

if you were to set the thermostat on the off position would the fans and compressor turn off?

gst85 :

sure no problem.

Customer :

Here is where I stand as of today Wed Aug 1. Unplugged and defrosted fridge for 12 hrs as it was warm anyway. Plugged back in and compressor started up. Left for 5hrs and it was slightly cool with the temp adjustment at standard setting. Noticed later compressor off and hot to touch and both fans off. Defrost mode? So I wasn't able to set the thermostat to the off position (as per your previous post) because when I did and turned it back on fans and compressor were both off to begin with.

gst85 :

hi there.

gst85 :

if the compressor is running hot then it is just going to be bad and nothing else.

gst85 :

it seems like it is going into defrost model as it should and the compressor is shutting off as it suppose to but it is just bad.

gst85 :

are you still with me?

Customer :

Yes sir. So the thermostat won't be the problem?

gst85 :

at this time i do not believe so.

Customer :

Is there a way to test the compressor with a meter to be sure if it is no good.

Customer :

What temp should a normally operating compressor run at?

gst85 :

there is a way to test with a multimeter for ohms

gst85 :

if you were to put your hand on it,how long could you keep it there?

Customer :

maybe 10 seconds it would start to get uncomfortable. I could bring a heat gun home from work and tell you exact temps if that would help?

gst85 :

lets make it a little easier for you.remove your items from your freezer.then take the evaporator cover off.let the unit run all night.you should see the coils full of frost.not heavy but thin frost.if they are then your compressor is fine but if they are not covered with frost then your compressor is just going to be the problem.

gst85 :

that is how you are going to know if your compressor is doing its job.

gst85 :

let me know if you have any questions.

Customer :

Sorry answering several phone calls. OK I will do what you said and take the evaporator cover off. Does this chat expire because I work 12hr shift work and I will need a few days to do all that is requested. Time is limited between shifts if you know what I mean?

Customer :

And to one of your earlier posts I have just checked the fridge and the compressor and fans are now all running. The compressor is now cooler to touch and when I turn the temp control to off yes the compressor and both fans turn off.

gst85 :

ok just try what i have suggested.

Customer :

Sorry for the long delay. Out of town for quite awhile. Will try what you posted in a few days.

Customer :

OK the fridge has been running for a couple of weeks now. Still not the coldest. Just took the evaporator cover off and there is just frost on the bottom tube only. I have pics if you would like too see them.

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